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FATHER AND SONS                            47

Iripping down into the river like a crystal screen from its mouth.
The colour of the boulder was a mossy green, and the Frog's back was
;overed with little globules. At the tail end there was a stone cave
:rom which came the clear gurgling sound of a spring. Some scholars,
joing up to the capital for their imperial examinations, would collect
water from the Frog's mouth and use it to grind ink for their examina-
tions.

Not far past the Frog the temporary spell of Nature's fury spent
itself, the drama of rocks and water came to an end, and below Ichang
the landscape changed into one of peace and quiet. The setting sun
shone upon a low plain of rice-fields and cottages with chimney smoke,
reminding the travellers that they had come back once more to a habit-
able world. According to custom, the travellers congratulated one
another on their narrow escape and their good fortune in remaining
alive. The boatmen were rewarded for their labours with pork and
wine, and everybody was happy and grateful. Looking back, the
travellers felt as if they had lived through an unbelievable dream.

At Kiangling they left the boat and began the land journey by cart
towards the capital. By the time they had ended their voyage, the
brothers had already composed a hundred poems. These were pub-
lished in a separate volume entitled The Southern Voyage. Yet some
of the best poems Su Tungpo wrote were composed on the land
^journey, which concentrated on music and tone and atmosphere alone,
and were rich in rhythm and variety of form. At Shiangyang he wrote
"songs" or boatman's ditties, like the "Song of the Eagle", recalling
the story of Liu Piao, and the "Song of Shangtu", recalling the story
of Meng Ta, who lost his control of a rich district through two incom-
petent officers:

On the wind-swept terrace stands a handsome knight.
His sad song melts into the autumn forest's moan.
Some maidens attentively listen unobserved;
They learn the tune but cannot imitate his tone.

O knight! what ails you?—Two idiot lads
•   Have lost a golden city and silvery plain,

Well guarded by the White Horse and Phoenix Hill!

The kingdom's lost, though land and water remain.
To what avail do I distress myself?
The bream are hard to catch in this deep cold.
The people on the bank listen and pass by,
But the burden of my song cannot be told.

The Su family arrived at the capital in February, They bought a